Some More Good Economic News

For those outside of North Carolina, I apologize for this NC-centric good news report. Yet, I saw four articles in today’s paper that show continuing evidence of our improving economy or better stewardship. The first three of the articles are directly related to job creation. What caught my eye is the nature of the jobs – they were all manufacturing jobs being created in NC. I will save the fourth story on stewardship until later.

Three Job Creation Stories

As reported in The Charlotte Observer:

– Herbalife, a nutrition firm based in Los Angeles, is purchasing a closed Dell processing facility in Winston-Salem, NC which totaled 750,000 square feet and will be refitting it to be an East Coast production facility. They plan to employ 500 people over the next three years. This firm produces weight-loss, nutritional and personal care products.

– A subsidiary of Canadian based Gildan Activewear called CanAm Yarns LLC will be opening a new yarn spinning  facility in Salisbury, NC revamping a 400,000 square foot building. This is their third facility in NC and will employ 170 people.

– Paumac Tubing who manufactures steel, stainless steel and aluminum tubing for agricultural, heavy truck and bus markets is opening a new plant in Statesville, NC. This 75,000 square foot plant will employ 75 people. Paumac, a Michigan based company, is the second national metalworking company to open a plant in Statesville in three months.

By my count that tallies to 745 jobs, which is not a huge amount, but shows the path forward for many companies. The continuing recovery will be built on these smaller types of expansions, although 500 jobs for one company could be viewed as more than small. The fact they are manufacturing jobs is also telling as there is a building movement to create more manufacturing jobs on these shores. It also shows the global nature of our economy as one of the companies is a Canadian company.

Fourth Good News Story is a Cautionary Tale

The last story is not about job creation, but is about making someone pay for fraudulent activity at worst and poor stewardship at best. A few weeks ago I reported on the “Health Care Industrial Complex” which discussed the business of health care. The point of that post is hospital management oftentimes is motivated to improve revenue with less concern for quality of care. In today’s edition of The Charlotte Observer and Raleigh News and Observer, it was reported that one hospital has agreed to pay a fine for such behavior. WakeMed based in Raleigh agreed to pay $8 million to settle an investigation into its practice of billing Medicare for expensive overnight stays when the patients were discharged the same day. Per The Charlotte Observer article, while the President of the hospital said no criminal activity occurred and it was all a misinterpretation, the court documents indicated “some WakeMed managers were aware of the billing practices.”

I thought I would italicize and embolden the last statement. When I hear people say we do not need regulations, this is representative of the kind of stories we should point to. By the way, since we pay a half the cost of Medicare through payroll taxes and our employers pay the rest, the hospital is in essence defrauding us.

So, good news abound, except for our WakeMed management who at best showed poor stewardship. If they did know, then it is fraudulent behavior. Yet, having worked for various companies for 33 years, I am certain the other employees of WakeMed are glad that someone is highlighting and hopefully stopping the bad behavior that occurred within their ranks. I am certain they take more pride in their organization than certain leaders who were gaming the system. But, let me close with pending congratulations for the 745 new hires that will be occurring due to the job growth news above.


6 thoughts on “Some More Good Economic News

  1. Good news, and as far as I’m concerned, when I hear someone proclaim how we don’t need regulations, then I want to know what they are hiding.

  2. Any idea if these companies will be paying a living wage, or, are they moving to SC because wages and shipping costs make it slightly more profitable than China? Virginia is adding jobs too and being a “Right to Work” state the rest of us have the distinct honor of picking up the tab for the Medicaid that provides health care for the employees children. Yes… it’s another proud day for the South.

    • Mrs. N, thanks for your note. One of them touted wages in the $40K range. I agree with your comment that companies tend to chase cheap labor. If you look at the textile industry – there are closed plants in England, closed plants in New England, closed plants in the Carolinas and now some closed plants in China as companies have moved to Vietnam. Yet, I think they are now also looking at the cost of distribution, as you note. So, this is a reason for repatriation of the jobs. With that said, Friedman/ Mandlebaum’s book “That Used to be Us” cites a growing need for some manufacturing to be as close as possible to leadership. Why? The best ideas to improve process oftentimes come from the production floor. Thanks for reading and offering your insights. BTG

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